After a week of speculation, Friday night’s disease control centers issued voluntary instructions for Americans to cover their mouths and noses when they go outside.
President Trump said he had no intention of following the recommendation. “I don’t think I will,” he said at a White House briefing by the Coronavirus Task Force.
The new guidelines came in response to increasing evidence that humans can spread the coronavirus without showing symptoms of COVID-19 disease. General surgeon Jerome Abrams emphasized that the measure was primarily intended to prevent potentially infected people from spreading the virus, rather than protecting the carrier.
Medical grade N95 respirators that serve as protection are still in short supply in many hospitals and are kept for healthcare professionals.
“The CDC recommends using a non-medical fabric face cover as an additional voluntary public health measure,” Trump said. “So it’s voluntary, you don’t have to do it. And they suggest it for a period of time, but it’s voluntary. I don’t think I will,” Trump said.
With only few face masks available in the country’s hospitals, Trump appealed to the Defense Production Act on Thursday to force 3M to ramp up its production. At the same time, a debate raged within the federal government about whether normal citizens should be recommended to use face masks when they leave the house.
“But you have many ways of looking at it. The CDC recommends that Americans wear a simple cloth or fabric mask that can either be bought online or simply made at home from the material you are likely to manufacture, ”Trump said. “These face coverings can easily be washed at home or reused. However, we would like to emphasize that the CDC does not recommend using masks for medical or surgical purposes and we want them to be used for our great medical staff who work so hard. “
Trump pointed out that his resistance to putting on a face mask was based on how he felt and what image it would project to the world.
“I just don’t want to wear one myself. It’s a recommendation. They recommend it. I feel good. I just don’t want to do it,” said Trump, adding: “I don’t know how I was in the Oval Office behind this beautiful one Resolute desk, the large resolute desk, sit and wear a face mask while I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens, I don’t know, somehow I don’t see it for myself. Maybe I’ll change my mind. “
Adams admitted that the government’s advice on using face masks to Americans was “confusing”. Citing the new studies that show that people who “feel good” according to the President’s words are still spreading the virus, Adams said: “It is important to know that we now know from recent studies that a significant proportion of those with coronavirus symptoms are what we call asymptomatic, and even those who become pre-symptomatic, meaning that they will develop symptoms in the future, can transmit the virus before showing symptoms. “
Trump has tested COVID-19 twice negatively, according to the White House, which announced Friday that people who meet the President and Vice President will receive a new coronavirus test that delivers results in 15 minutes. So far, White House visitors have been scanned with forehead thermometers, but they can only detect active COVID-19 disease, not a possible infection.
“I was just being tested too, so I’m assuming I don’t have the virus so I don’t have to worry about its spread,” Trump said.
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